Friday, February 25, 2011
It is with sorrow and deep regret that I write this letter. You see, over the 28 years we have worked together on a seasonal basis, we have created many fond memories. From sledding and snow forts to college snow days, good times were bountiful. Somewhere along the line, though, you changed.
I tried to brush off the wrist-fracturing slip you threw my way a few years back. I turned a blind eye to the 2009 Icepocalypse that left so many in the area without power. After all, who needs electricity when you have frozen water? (See? That argument still doesn’t make sense.) I figured you might just be going through some sort of phase where you clamored for attention; like you were trying to be a Jonas brother or Kardashian sister. Alas, this winter has proven that your issues go far beyond a “look at me” complex… Now you simply won’t go away. What was the breaking point? Perhaps it was the consecutive snowstorms. Perhaps it was the 40-degree dip over a span of 12 hours. Or perhaps it was the fact that you brought traffic to such a standstill on Thursday night that it took me 45 minutes to travel from my home to another location less than four miles away. The year is not 1850, I know not how to mend a broken wagon axle, and none of my family members are suffering from dysentery. Put simply, this is not the Oregon Trail, Winter. Such travel escapades are simply inexcusable. I have no choice but to ask for your resignation as an annual season.
It’s true, not all of your traits are the sort that might trigger Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining” to transition into a psychotic, Ed McMahon-quoting delirium. After all, snow spread over an open field and dusted over trees can create a landscape that many find “majestic” or “beautiful.” You can even help bring forth the inner kindness of individuals, leading neighbors to assist in shoveling driveways and even encouraging strangers to help push cars up an icy hill.
Unfortunately, with the good, there’s both bad and ugly. It seems far too many in the Midwest approach driving in snow as if it’s some sort of master’s-level equation, and they aren’t anywhere near solving it. Wheels spinning in place? I bet stomping on my gas pedal as if it’s a spider scurrying across a tile floor will do the trick. Uh oh, I’m losing traction as I careen down the road… I better slam on my brakes as if I’m headed toward the Grand Canyon. Basically, the roads turn into a circus… A circus where the clowns driving tiny cars operate as if inebriated and nearsighted, and snow cones are mud-flavored and fed to folks by a batting cage pitching machine.
I’d like to give you another chance, Winter. I really would. Unfortunately, you have proven yourself untrustworthy. How can I be expected to continually support a season whose quadrennial Olympics are slightly less entertaining than flossing one’s teeth?
Enough is enough, Winter. It’s time for a change. Resign now and we will negotiate a deal that will allow you to return for 24 hours each Christmas that falls in an even-numbered year. Decline this request resignation and you will risk legal action. The choice is yours.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Back to wisdom, this weekend's glowing example came during the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night. After an assortment of slams mixed in with awkward fanfare and the most ear-crippling announcing duo possible (Reggie and Cheryl Miller... Horrible... I'd rather listen to Carrot Top and Gallagher talk prop "comedy"), the night wrapped with LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunking over a car.
It was an impressive feat. (I haven't jumped over a car in years.) It was a nice dunk... but it wasn't an AMAZING dunk; not one worthy of the instant reaction that it received from most everyone in attendance. It wasn't the best dunk of the night, and thankfully Charles Barkley was there to put things in proper perspective. How does one effectively convey the message that presentation was nice but, overall, there wasn't much substance to something in particular?
"That's like when you have a pretty girl, if she's dumb, it don't matter."
I can't top that. Use your newfound wisdom wisely.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Roses are red; violets are blue;
I'd put your name here, but I haven't a clue.
Roses are red, but roses have thorns;
I'll see you tonight, you can help treat my corns.
Roses are red; a rose is a flower;
On such a special occasion, I might even shower.
Roses are red; ... well, some roses anyway. Roses can also be white, yellow, pink, or even striped. There are actually over 100 species within the family Rosaceae. They're all perennials and many are native to Asia. Roses are most often used for ornamental purposes and they have been used in that manner for thousands of years. I'm a big fan of roses. In fact, I can tell you a lot more about them if you like. I'm going to assumed that your stunned silence means, "yes, I would like to hear more." Did you know that roses are even used medicinally. No really, it's true...
Roses are red; this is no fling;
Put on something pretty, it's time for Burger King.
Roses are red; my online avatar has tremendous stats;
Have you seen my collection of porcelain cats?
Roses are red; my formal title is mister;
Sweetheart, you're great, but can I call your sister?
Yes, the fact that it is Valentine's Day also means that tonight is the Sunflower Showdown at Bramlage Coliseum. I'll be headed that way soon. Frankly, I won't allow myself to write anything else about the game, as I seem to have an adverse effect on most things I appreciate. That's a topic for the future.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Dale Carter - 1993 Pro Set Power
Carter is one of the best defensive backs in Chiefs history, and I'm nothing if I'm not biased when it comes to my favorite teams. These factors, plus the fact that the folks at Pro Set were apparently ancestors of Samuel F. B. Morse. The description on the back of Carter's card reads, "In 1992, Carter telegrammed his game-breaking ability to the league the first time he touched the ball..." It was 1992; what was he doing using a telegraph? Was he stuck in history museum. I don't ask for much (editor's note: lie), but couldn't the Pro Set folks have referred to faxing instead of sending a telegram? Or, embracing the technology of the era, maybe they could have even written, "In 1992, Carter phoned the beepers of teams around the league. Upon checking their pager messages, locating a pay phone, and borrowing a quarter from the nearest guy wearing a fanny pack, teams were informed of Carter's game-breaking ability..."
I think it sounds good.
Don Mattingly - 1994 Bowman
On the back, a scout talks of why Mattingly - who won the 1985 MVP over George Brett despite the fact that the Royals went on to the World Series and that Brett had a higher batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage (bitter? Me?) - was not drafted until the 19th round in 1979. "He didn't show the tools that were in vogue then," the scout says.
I assume that means that he hadn't grown his mustache yet.
Jon Nunnally - 1996 Metal Universe
There's no descriptive paragraph on the back of this card, and that's probably for the best. The illustration on the front seems to get the point across. Nunnally - a former Royals outfield who hit a home run in his first major league at-bat - is shown apparently navigating a minefield in effort to catch a falling mine in the webbing of his mitt. It's true, the Royals were lousy in the mid-90s (and the late 90s... and nearly the entire 21st century to this point), but depicting their once-promising young outfielder (he was eventually traded to Cincinnati and may have fallen into a bottomless pit) in the midst of a war-torn minefield seems a bit harsh. After all, they didn't even have Neifi Perez or Chuck Knoblauch by that point.
Unfortunately, it seems that no picture of this card exists in the entirety of the Internet and my scanner is on the fritz. (Who knew that a printer/scanner might quit working if one goes without using it for four years?)
Mike Remlinger - 1992 Donruss
Poor Mr. Remlinger, not only is he stuck wearing a throwback uniform that makes him look like a member of a 1919 prison team, but the folks at Donruss mention missing most of the 1988 season due to an elbow injury as a "career highlight." Donruss: Enjoying the career-threatening misery of others since 1992.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Monday, February 07, 2011
I encountered someone with “The Mondays” today, and the result was not one many might desire. Those unfamiliar should know that having The Mondays basically involves experiencing the frustrations in life that might only seem to occur on Mondays – the oft-dreaded start to a work week. The origins of the phrase are unknown (as far as I’m concerned… The Writings: Who Says Writing Involves Research?), but said phrase was made popular in the film “Office Space,” in which an ultimate result is a scheme gone wrong followed by workplace arson. It’s true, The Mondays are not anything to take lightly.
As far as I’m aware, if you have ever said any of the following, you may have suffered from a case of The Mondays:
- “I lost my keys.”
- “I locked my keys in my car.”
- “I locked my car in my house.”
- “I lost my house.”
- “I overslept.”
- “I underslept.”
- “I slept in my neighbor’s boat.”
- “I slept under my neighbor’s boat.”
- “My girlfriend discovered that my sales job at Vandelay Industries is a farce.”
- “My coworkers discovered that my girlfriend is a farce.”
- “I discovered that my life is a farce.”
- “My credit card was declined at lunch.”
- “My credit card was declined at lunch with a client.”
- “My presence was declined at lunch with a client, though he did ask for my credit card to stay.”
- “My dog ran away.”
- “My cat ran away.”
- “My goldfish ran away, despite the fact that it cannot run.”
- “Someone keyed my car.”
- “Someone vandalized my home.”
- “17 yokels that were raised by shrews robbed my home, hijacked my car, and left me with nothing but a 1989 Don Aase baseball card and a pair of non-matching socks.”
- “I lost one of my non-matching socks.”
Whether or not the girl I encountered today had previously uttered any of the above remains a mystery, as I don’t make it a habit of asking strangers for printed transcripts of their daily conversations and inner monologues upon meeting them. No, the first clue of this case of the Mondays unfortunately came at my expense.
(Insert appropriate appalled gasp here.)
While the drive-thru attendee at my favorite local fast-food establishment passed my order through the comically small window, she managed to fumble my cup and spill a portion of my carbonated beverage. The splash zone was unfortunate, somehow extending from my driver’s side window all the way to the passenger seat. Had it not been for the fact that my pants resided in said splash zone, I might have marveled at the way the soda seemed to defy physics. Instead, I put napkins into immediate action, attempting to sop the pop before my car seats were stained and my cup-holder was left in a sticky state that would make future passengers wonder why I had apparently attempted to manufacture taffy in my motor vehicle.
Alas, it was not the fact that the drive-thru gatekeeper also gave me stale French fries, or the fact that she forgot to provide some ketchup packets (despite specifically asking me if I might desire extra ketchup – a query to which I responded, “Yes, that would be great.” … Apparently, she was just taking a survey...) that cemented my diagnosis of this case of The Mondays. No, said realization came directly after the employee chose to baptize my dungarees with Pepsi. Rather than apologize profusely (or even minimally), she instead followed with “I think that cup spilled a little.”
Apparently she was curious whether the Mondays were contagious.